David McLoghlin. CAT DWYER/CATSEYEPIX.COM
Salon Diary / By Karen Daly
The late November IAW&A Salon brought gifted actors, comic and serious, great storytellers, two new presenters (one named McCourt), along with musicians, novelists and one poet to the stage at The Cell on Nov. 17.
Guitarist/singer Peadar Hickey opened with two songs that told stories about the Irish in America. “Fighting Tom Sweeney” with words by James Kelly and music by Derek Warfield tells of the Cork-born Colonel of the 52nd Missouri who fought bravely in the Civil War Battle of Shiloh. The tender “Lost Little Children” by Tim O’Brien is about two young brothers who sail to America to meet their parents who preceded them to earn the money for the children’s passage.
Peadar is part of the touring group Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones. You can catch him regularly in NYC at Donoghue’s, Times Square, Tuesdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 10pm, the Pig ‘n Whistle, Times Square, W. 46th St., Wednesdays at 9pm, and the Dog and Duck, Sunnyside, Thursdays at 8.30pm and Sundays at 5.30pm
Here from Dublin to perform her award-winning solo show, “Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions,” Suzanna Geraghty treated us to a few minutes of the show, in which a hapless actor tries to demonstrate the full range of her talents in an audition that doesn’t go so well. Suzanna lived up to her description in The New York Times as “…a gifted physical comedian…” Suzanna’s “Auditions, Zoe’s Auditions” won the Best Comedy Award at United Solo 2015!
We welcomed new member David McLoghlin who read from his memoir-in-progress, “The Travelled Child.” It describes his family’s emigration from Ireland to Belgium and Darien, Conn., in the 1980s, and a young boy’s struggle to belong in a variety of countries, including Ireland, upon his return home with a New England accent. David is author of “Waiting for Saint Brendan and Other Poems” (Salmon Poetry, 2012), and recipient of a grant from Ireland’s Arts Council. David notes that the Salon was only the second time he has read from the memoir and was grateful for such an appreciative audience. Visit www.davidmcloghlin.com.
Noted actor Rosina Fernhoff performed an excerpt from the solo play “Snow People” by Av Inlender. Weaving history with personal experiences, the play explores the controversy surrounding Nazi looting of art treasures during World War II and Swiss complicity in the thefts. Rosina played a woman whose daughter confronts her with contemporary questions of guilt and restitution.
Jazz sax player Jon Gordon has played and read from his memoir “For Sue” at several IAW&A Salons. Tuesday he chose the Malachy McCourt route (“Just tell the story!”) with anecdotes from a book he’s working on entitled “Jazz Lives.” Jon had unique stories about some of great musicians he met as a very young man starting out: Jay McShann, Doc Cheatham, Joe Williams, Clark Terry and Cab Calloway, among others.
Another IAW&A member who can tell a story, John McDonagh did a few minutes from his solo play “Cabtivist.” In this hilarious segment, John is chosen to show British actor Stephen Fry around New York for his TV show, so naturally John brings him to Queens to meet some authentic goodfellas. John graciously thanked IAW&A members for encouragement, feedback and support of his work. After two sold-out shows this fall, John will perform another one at the Cell on Dec. 16. Get your tickets at www.thecelltheatre.org.
Thom Molyneaux read two extracts from his 9/11 play, “White Ash Falling,” which premiered at the Detroit Repertory Theatre in May. It is structured as a play within a play. The first extract had Richard, an actor, telling the other actors what he did on 9/11 and was followed with Richard’s character, Greg, telling his story of that unforgettable day. Pleased with the reception and good reviews, Thom hopes to produce “White Ash Falling” in or around New York.
Having returned from a conference in Belfast and a vacation in Madrid, IAW&A Salon producer and host John Kearns read a brief excerpt from his novel in progress, “Worlds,” in which Paul Logan reminisces about an incident that took place when he started teaching at an all girls’ school in the South Bronx. When Paul sends a student to detention, she returns to the classroom and attacks him. After learns that she will be expelled, two students in his class start arguing about the incident and have to be sent to separate guidance counselors.
In his first Salon appearance, Alphie McCourt charmed with three selections from his “The Soulswimmer, A Collection.” Two, “Quiet Time” and “The Prose Nose,” were in verse. “Albanese” is a story, fictional, we presume, about a returned emigrant farmer whose erotic encounter with his wife is enhanced by a cow’s tail. More about him at: www.alphiemccourt.com.
Tom Mahon’s true story about an incident in Vietnam, “Sergeant Murray’s Problem” is another dramatic vignette from his collection “Tomorrow Never Came.” In it, a sergeant dies when he is forced to recover his lieutenant who was injured in ambush.
The accomplished poet Marcia Loughran was happy to be back at the Salon, sharing three poems, one of which (“Imagine October”) has been published by the Riding Light Review. The other two were new, one “Allen Ginsberg Goes to Costco” and “Ceasefires.”
The packed program came to a close, with an impromptu sing-along of “Let It Be” led by Jack DiMonte, Mark Butler and Sarah Fearon, with John Kearns on guitar.
The next Salon will be at the Cell Theatre, 338 West 23rd St., Manhattan, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, beginning at 7 p.m.